Guitar Circle Of Italy Meeting


Date or timeframe: 16-12-2007
Venue: Cristina Atzori’s Place
City: Bologna
Country: Italy
Source:
Category(-ies): / / /

(Italian version below)

Bologna, Dec. 16th 2007

10:40 – All 6 of us gather together ((Aldo, Duse, Filippo, Deiana, Stefano e Al) under the station roof of the main hall in Bologna Central Train Station: It’s snowing.

11:00 – After wandering for a while we find the bus stop and get on bus 25

11:30 – Cristina opens the door of a hall in the building where she lives (the room is still pretty cold despite she turned the heating on one hour ago); 6 chairs in a circle and we begin.

Briefly we declare our own motivation and aim for the project, then we tune the guitars and begin with the warm-up:

2° Primary:

Alternate picking on the fourth string (A)

  • Metronome set at 80 bpm

  • Four notes, four triplets (‘till here only downstrokes), eight notes, eight triplets

  • Then alternating 4 bars in eight notes with 4 bars in eight triplets focusing on:

    • Letting the motion happen and pivot in the wrist

    • Letting the whole arm being and remaining relaxed

    • Letting the strokes being equal (no accents, neither intentional nor unintentional)

    • Letting also the volume remaining constant specially in the transitions from the slow figure to the faster one.

  • Sixteen notes

  • Then alternating 4 bars in eight notes with 4 bars in eight triplets and then with 4 bars in sixteen notes

  • Quintuplets (five notes every metronome beep)

  • Then alternating 4 bars in eight notes – 4 bars in eight triplets – 4 bars in sixteen notes – 4 in quintuplets; the whole thing always with the same focus.

Here the first wounded begin to fall…

1° Primary:

11 Patterns (an old Tony’s torture for the left hand)

I lay 2 sheets on the floor with a tablature of the patterns in sequence, and we begin:

  • Metronome set at 72 bpm

  • 1 and a half minute per pattern

The number of wounded ones grows…

At this point I set myself the aim to mix up the fixity which, as I often come across such a thing in my personal practice, I assume it being a lurking beast for everybody; so I assert that the possibility to explore the 1° Primary are wider than our well known and beloved 24 combination of 4 finger figures, in fact there are also 2 and 3 finger combinations.

I propose then such a progression:

  • From the 1st to the 12th fret and back
  • First round in eight notes, then in eight triplets, and last in sixteen notes

  • Alternating the 6 two-finger-combinations along with the 6 strings, down and up: 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4

It could seem to be simple but the fingers fly around on the fretboard and, no longer later, the war dead are not countable anymore…

Applying the concept (to mix up the fixity) to the 3° Primary too (the basic form normally presented is a C Maj scale played horizontally on the 4th string organized in groups of 3 notes) we put together a horizontal progression on 2 strings (3rd and 4th) in D min. pentatonic organized in groups of 6 notes, 3 per string.

At this point we change scenario completely and I present the 2 voices of the first pattern of Punta Patri, a piece by the CGT of which I bought the score on their website.

13:30 – Cristina takes us to her home wher she prepared a wonderful lunch for all of us, made of a spelt soup, dried tomatoes and other delicatessen of that kind

We use the lunch break also to talk about practicalities (money, strings, dates, and so on)

15:30 – After coffee, and all in all a slightly too long break, we begin again, facing the “Circulation” issue; more specifically the “Basic Form” with its variations, and the “Variegate Form” also with quite a number of variations.

Such an activity, endeavoured for an hour, proved that, being familiarity and competence on the guitar not so relevant or crucial in this context, the group becomes far more homogeneous, opening up brand new possibility of “Work”.

16:30 – After having briefly passed to Filippo the 3rd voice of the first pattern of Punta Patri, I leave the Circle to practice the piece with Filippo, to give a personal mmeting to Cristina who’s preaparing herself for the next L1 in San Cugat.

17:00 – We then spend the last half an hour the other Tony’s exercise (a cross picking systematic progression built on G harmonic minor set of chords): we’re still stuck with the 1° group, we practice together the basic form, switching from one to the other without stopping; but as we attempt the sixteen note version of it, the sound comes only from Al’s and Filippo’s guitars: the road is still long and winding wit this exercise…

17:30 – We briefly collect ourselves before embracing our bags and guitar cases heading towards the train station after greeting and thanking Cristina for her warm and generous hospitality.


10:40 – Ci ritroviamo tutti e 6 (Aldo, Duse, Filippo, Deiana, Stefano e Al) sotto la pensilina dell’atrio principale della stazione di Bologna Centrale: nevica.

11:00 – Dopo qualche giro a vuoto troviamo la fermata e saliamo sul bus 25

11:30 – Cristina ci apre la sala condominiale (la sala è ancora piuttosto fredda nonostante lei abbia acceso i riscaldamenti già da un’ora); 6 sedie in circolo e cominciamo.

Brevemente riformuliamo motivi e scopi per questo progetto, poi accordiamo e cominciamo con il warm-up:

2° Primario:

Picking alternato sulla quarta corda (LA)

  • metronomo a 80 bpm
  • quarti, terzine di quarti (fin qui solo downstrokes), ottavi, terzine di ottavi
  • poi alternando 4 misure in ottavi a 4 in terzine di ottavi con particolare attenzione a:
    • far sì che il movimento abbia origine e sia imperniato nel polso
    • che tutto il braccio sia e rimanga rilassato
    • che tutti i colpi siano uguali (niente accenti, né intenzionali né tanto meno non voluti)
    • che anche il volume rimanga costante specialmente nel passaggio dalla figura più lenta a quella più veloce.
  • Sedicesimi
  • Poi alternando 4 misure in ottavi a 4 misure in terzine di ottavi e poi a 4 in sedicesimi
  • Quintine (cinque colpi per ogni beep di metronomo)
  • Poi alternando 4 misure in ottavi – 4 misure in terzine di ottavi – 4 in sedicesimi – 4 in quintine; il tutto sempre osservando i punti sopra riportati.

Qui si cominciano a contare i primi feriti…

1° Primario:

11 Patterns (vedi allegato)

Metto in terra 2 fogli grandi con i patterns rappresentati in sequenza sotto forma di tablatura, e partiamo:

  • metronomo a 72 bpm
  • 1 minuto e mezzo per ogni pattern

I feriti aumentano…

A questo punto mi prefiggo lo scopo di smuovere la fissità che, riscontratone il rischio nella mia pratica personale, presumo sia un mostro in agguato un po’ per tutti; così faccio presente che le possibilità di esplorare il 1° Primario non si esauriscono con le nostre amate 24 combinazioni a 4 dita, ma ci sono anche, ad esempio quelle a 3 ed a 2 dita.

Propongo quindi una progressione così fatta:

  • dal 1° al 12° tasto (misurato sulla posizione dell’indice, che sia coinvolto nella figura oppure no) e ritorno
  • prima in ottavi, poi in terzine di ottavi, ed infine in sedicesimi
  • alternando le 6 combinazioni a 2 dita (1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4) ad ogni ciclo, salita o discesa che sia (vedi allegato).

Questo sembra semplice ma le dita svolazzano sulla tastiera e, dopo poco, i morti non si contano più…

Traslando il concetto (di smuovere le fissità) anche sul 3° Primario (che normalmente viene esemplificato sviluppando orizzontalmente sulla 4° corda la scala di DO Maj con la progressione La-Si-Do, Si-Do-Re, Do-Re-Mi, ecc.), abbiamo sintetizzato una progressione orizzontale su 2 corde (3° e 4°) in RE min. pentatonica (vedi allegato).

A questo punto cambiamo completamente scenario:

presento il primo pattern di 2 delle voci di Punta Patri, un pezzo del CGT del quale ho acquistato la trascrizione sul loro sito (vedi allegato).

13:30 – Cristina ci porta a casa sua dove ci offre un ottimo pranzo a base di minestra di farro, pomodorini sott’olio ed altre squisitezze.

La pausa viene usata anche per discutere di praticalità (soldi, corde, appuntamenti, ecc.).

15:30 – Riprendiamo dopo il caffè ed una pausa un po’ troppo lunga, affrontando il tema “Circulations”; in particolare la “Basic form” con le sue variazioni, e la “Variegated form” anch’essa con un buon numero di variazioni (vedi allegato).

Questo lavoro, proseguito per un’ora, ha provato che, avendo familiarità e competenza sullo strumento una rilevanza decisamente minore, il gruppo diventa molto più omogeneo aprendo così possibilità sinora inedite di “Lavoro”.

16:30 – Dopo aver brevemente passato a Filippo la terza voce della 1^ parte di Punta Patri, lascio tutti lì a praticare il pezzo aiutati da Filippo, per un personal meeting con Cristina che si sta preparando per il prossimo L1 a S. Cugat.

17:00 – Spendiamo infine l’ultima mezz’ora sull’esercizio di Tony: siamo ancora al 1° gruppo, pratichiamo insieme i 6 patterns nella versione base, di seguito senza fermarci; poi proviamo anche la versione in sedicesimi, ma qui il suono proviene solo dalle chitarre di Fil & Al…

La strada è ancora lunga e tortuosa con questo esercizio!

17:30 – Breve raccoglimento prima di inguainare le chitarre e dirigerci verso la stazione salutando e ringraziando Cristina per la sua calorosa e generosa accoglienza.

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